Albert Kahn Building up for sale in New Center

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The Albert Kahn Building in the New Center area was offered for sale Tuesday, two years after it was purchased in a $12.2 million auction package. The listing was offered without a price.

Investor interest prompted the move to list the 275,000-square-foot building at 7430 Second Ave., said AJ Weiner, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, a professional services firm. Detroit-based developer The Platform and New York City-based HFZ Capital Group own the property.

“Based upon the number of inquires that have been received from the general market, it was an appropriate time to explore the possible sale of the building,” Weiner said. “It doesn’t change the focus they have on the immediate neighborhood and Detroit.”

In 2015, a group headed by The Platform bought the Albert Kahn Building, the Fisher Building and 3,000 parking spaces for $12.2 million in an online auction after the previous owners defaulted on a $27 million mortgage.

The initial plan for the 11-story office building was to convert it to residential with retail on the first floor. While the building has been well maintained over the years, no money has been put toward redevelopment, Weiner said.

Built in 1931, the building once housed a Saks Fifth Avenue, a grocery store and a bakery.

“It’s on the National Register (of Historic Places), it’s in gorgeous shape,” said Dan Austin, spokesman for The Platform. “This one has been very well cared for and with all the buzz... There’s a lot going on around here. If the right buyers came along this would be a heck of an opportunity.”

The Platform is restoring the Fisher Building and has projects underway including Third and Grand, a 231-unit, mixed-use development at Third Avenue and West Grand Boulevard, as well as developments in nearby TechTown and Milwaukee Junction.

Austin says the group as a vested interest in what happens with the property, if it is sold.

“The Platform wants to make sure that if it does sell the Albert Kahn building it’s going to somebody that will add something to the neighborhood and add life and vibrancy,” he said. “This is not a fire sale. This is testing the market.”

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